Professional Staff Organization

February 14, 2022

PSO memo on unionizing efforts of Research Scientists and Engineers (RSEs)

As many have likely already heard, there is an effort underway by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4121 to organize UW’s research scientists and engineers (RSEs). Those organizing this effort filed notice and shared their petition with the Public Employment Relations Commission on January 3, 2022.

UAW 4121, which also represents UW’s teaching and research assistants and the postdoctoral scholars, has filed this petition to represent the following groups:

  • Research Scientist/Engineer-Assistant (19691)
  • Research Scientist/Engineer 1 (11492, 19692)
  • Research Scientist/Engineer 2 (11493, 19693)
  • Research Scientist/Engineer 3 (11494, 19308)
  • Research Scientist/Engineer 4 (11495)

Confidential employees, supervisors, employees covered under Chapter 41.76 RCW, and employees included in any other bargaining unit are excluded at this time.

The PSO Board recognizes and respects the unionization efforts of the RSEs. We welcome the opportunity to engage and learn throughout their process, and are in conversation with the organizers as well as UW HR so that we may fully understand the effort as it relates to our constituents and the mission of the PSO.

If you have any questions about the RSE organizing process, please visit or email to talk with an organizer.

Other current or recent unionizing efforts at UW include the IHME Union, and the UW Libraries Union.